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Roadkill (1989)

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This is an early film by Bruce McDonald filmed on a tiny budget over a few weeks traveling the wilds in Canada. It tells the story of Ramona, sent to recover an errant band who are in ... See full summary »

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Title: Roadkill (1989)

Roadkill (1989) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Valerie Buhagiar ...
Ramona
Gerry Quigley ...
Roy Seth, the Promoter
Larry Hudson ...
Buddy, the Cab Driver
...
Bruce Shack, the Director
Shaun Bowring ...
Mathew, the Weenie-Boy
...
Russel, the Serial Killer
Mark Tarantino ...
Luke, the 15-Year Old Boy
Jamie Rooney ...
Nature Film Narrator
Peter Morfea ...
Jesus of Toronto
Patricia Sims ...
Corporate Babe
Nazareno Buhagiar ...
Ramona's Father
Giovanna Buhagiar ...
Ramona's Mother
Glen McLaren ...
Gas Station Attendant
Ellen Dean ...
Waitress
Earl Pastko ...
Children of Paradise drums
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Storyline

This is an early film by Bruce McDonald filmed on a tiny budget over a few weeks traveling the wilds in Canada. It tells the story of Ramona, sent to recover an errant band who are in danger of missing the final date in their tour. After obtaining the job through falsely claiming to be able to drive, she hires a taxi cab to drive her the hundreds / thousands of miles required to get the job done. On the way she meets a variety of characters from a trainee serial killer (who moans that the only jobs available in Canada are ice hockey players or serial killers, and he's no good at ice hockey) who's finding it hard to get off the ground, to a film crew desperate for some live action gore, to a silent young man who refuses to speak as 'he has nothing left to say any more'. The conclusion to the film is just great, as the spaghetti of apparently isolated plot lines are tied together in a thumping final scene. In true road movie style, Ramona gradually develops and breaks out as she ... Written by Chris Ewels <ewels@excc.ex.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A rock'n'road movie about a girl who learns to drive. See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 August 1990 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Roadkill: Move or Die  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 250,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Ontario)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's soundtrack ended up on the Canadian charts from the makers having sneaked off with copies from record store shelves. See more »

Quotes

Ramona: Russel, are you really a serial killer?
Russel: Well, I've never really killed anyone before, but that's what I'm shooting for. That's my ambition. I know it's a hard profession, and it's a competive field and getting tougher every year. You have to kill about 20 people now before you're taken seriously, But let's face it, what other options do I have? There's not a lot of opportunities up here for social mobility. I mean you can either become a hockey player or take up a life of crime. And I have weak...
See more »

Crazy Credits

...hardly any animals were killed during the shooting of this movie... See more »

Connections

References Doctor Dolittle (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Dead Drunk Johnny
Performed by 10 Seconds Over Tokyo
(C) 3L Productions/Rampant Music Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Distinctive, quirky, memorable
2 June 2003 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

Rough and raw in the best sense. Delightfully quirky, damned funny, with the odd, faintly haunting moment worked in. My thought a few years ago, seeing it in a video store was, okay, I remember it got my attention first time round in the theatre, but this was ten years ago; what happens if I rent it and see it again?

Answer: it holds up quite well. Yes, the very raw (read 'cheap') production values shine through everywhere; this is part of the fun, after a while. The rough black and white footage makes rural Northern Ontario look properly bleak (and occasionally sinister -- hey, I grew up there; and trust me -- it's appropriate), and, at times, coldly beautiful. Buhagiar is deliciously bemused throughout as the stranger in a (very) strange land, and McKellar's wannabe serial killer is an absolute scream (listen for the line about upward mobility, hockey, crime, and weak ankles; I'll avoid spoiling it for you).

It's probably blasphemy to some fans' ears to say it (it's McDonald, it's rock 'n roll, and you're not really supposed to take any of these things too seriously), but on some levels, this is almost a film of substance despite itself, if you go looking for it. Again, it's partly the atmosphere: the melancholy question -- "whatinhell are we all doing here anyway, and exactly why are we bothering, again?" -- a question naturally posed by the area -- works its way in at the edges of the frame. The response of the lead singer of the fictional "Children of Paradise" -- to shut up entirely, and suffer the absurdity of it all without comment, from behind haunted, hollow eyes -- actually makes a fair bit of sense, given the environment.

The dialogue is weak through much of it, and not always much helped by the sometimes amateurish delivery, but there are some brilliant moments. Co-writer McKellar, who, in my view, hit his stride with the quietly apocalyptic (see it; I'm not explaining here) *Last Night*, was still working on his game here (and McDonald, honestly, I've always found a little lean this way). But there are definite flashes of great things to come.

The soundtrack's got an eclectic thing going for it. As with all three films in the loose 'trilogy' this one started (see also Highway 61, Hard Core Logo), this is a film about rock 'n roll, and is something of a document in this respect -- it features songs by the Cowboy Junkies, the Ramones, and Nash the Slash, to name a prominent few.

Overall, a strange sort of Northern Ontario travelogue -- but not exactly the Chamber of Commerce version. More the "come here if you like cold bleak scenery, and consider running over animals a sport" version. Highly recommended, if you're looking for something distinctive, memorable, and frequently, amusingly quirky.


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